The Cycling-Fueled Spiritual Quest of Jackson Foster

Listen on Google Play MusicJackson Foster is on an epic cycling-fueled spiritual quest from Alaska to South America (and beyond). After taking the plunge as a full on minimalist digital nomad, Jackson has simplified his life to the bare necessities — carrying everything he owns and needs on his touring bike, including his entire vlogging setup. Yep, he’s daily vlogging his experience from the road, sharing the insane beauty of his journey and the people he’s met. As a result, he’s had a lot of time to think and reflect, and has a lot of amazing stories and spiritual philosophies to share.

I caught up with Jackson for the second time on this show while he was in Oregon, on his way south from Alaska. We talk about his bike setup, crazy stories from the road, what he’s been eating to fuel himself, and then get deep on greater philosophy and spirituality as it relates to things like “do epic shit” and lifestyle design. It was one of the best conversations we’ve had, so really excited to share it with you. Be sure to follow Jackson’s adventure over on his YouTube channel, Plantriotic.

-Jackson


I will be in Los Angeles for the upcoming Circle V event and co-hosting a run/yoga/food/nutrition talk in Santa Monica/Venice this Sunday, November 19th. Hope to see you there!

Subscribe to our new email list where each week I’ll send out a newsletter with a compilation of articles/blogs/podcasts/science/recipes/other cool shit that we are into that week straight to your inbox so you can get some more resources beyond the podcast. Join here: 

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Show Notes

Jackson’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjOKgw4ndKt52LTESwqvAGg

Jackson on Instagram: http://instagram.com/plantriotic

Our last podcast: https://www.tfflifestyle.com/tff-012-jackson-foster-on-plantriotic-productivity/


Join the TFF Club on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/tffclub

Connect with TFF:
Website: tfflifestyle.com
Instagram: instagram.com/tfflifestyle
Facebook: facebook.com/tfflifestyle
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Patreon: patreon.com/thoughtforfood
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Podcast: bit.ly/TFFitunes

Music by: David Cutter Music – http://www.davidcuttermusic.com

Paul Shapiro on the Status of Animal Welfare in 2017 and the Power of the Clean Meat Revolution



Listen on Google Play MusicThere exists a grand order of elite animal rights advocates that have quite literally been changing the game for how animals, from chickens to wolves, are treated in this world. Like the Justice League for animals, these plant-based superheroes often work behind the scenes on changing policy or technology, creating a powerful ripple effect that has improved the lives of billions of animals in recent years. You might have heard my conversation with Nathan Runkle, founder of Mercy For Animals, who is one of these heroes. And today, I’m beyond excited to bring another animal rights superhero to your ears, the one, the only, Paul Shapiro.  

Paul is the vice president of policy at the Humane Society of the United States, one of the organizations leading the way to a better future for animals through animal rescue, care, protection, and advocacy. Paul focuses on shifting the political landscape towards advancing animal welfare in this country. He began his career for animals in high school, becoming vegan after learning about the way industrially farmed animals were treated, and founded the animal advocacy organization Compassion Over Killing. While there, he took part in innumerable actions and campaigns to improve the lives of animals. In 2005, he started with the Humane Society of the US as head of farm animal protection, and was integral in reducing battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates in a variety of settings and states. Paul has authored a forthcoming book on the clean meat movement coming out in January 2018, and is an inductee into the animal rights hall of fame. Hashtag legend.

Paul and I sat down for this conversation the evening before he delivered a powerful talk at TEDx Sun Valley on how we are better than how we treat animals. We talked about how his early days as an activist have led to the work he does now, the current state of animal welfare policy, effective altruism, and of course, clean meat technology and what that means for saving animals. It was incredibly inspiring to hang out with Paul and his girlfriend Toni Okamoto (who was also recently on the podcast!) in Idaho for a couple of days. I’m honored to call these two friends and to bring you their wisdom, and hope this conversation with Paul gives you the hope and energy to join us in improving the lives of animals. We must take action. We must make a difference. Go follow Paul on Twitter @PaulHShapiro and definitely be sure to stay tuned for the release of his upcoming book. If you’re a regular listener of the podcast, you probably think I sound like a broken record when it comes to my thoughts and feelings about plant-based and clean meat technologies, but honestly I can’t stress their importance and potential for changing the world enough.


Our friends over at Plant Positive Running have an awesome new cookbook out for anyone new to the plant-based lifestyle and specifically for endurance athletes and runners. They are generous enough to offer listeners of the pod a special discount. Visit plantpositiverunning.com/cookbook and use the code EPICDUMPS to receive 40% off! And to be clear, this isn’t a paid advertisement and we aren’t getting anything in return for this offer, just helping out our fellow plant-powered athletes up in northern Idaho spread the message of eating more plants. Check ’em out!


Show Notes

Connect with Paul:

Instagram: Instagram.com/paulshapiro1

Twitter: twitter.com/paulhshapiro

Humane Society: humanesociety.org


Relevant articles and resources:

Compassion Over Killing

Mercy For Animals

Dominion

Gardein

Sophie’s Kitchen

New Wave Foods

Finless Foods

What a Fish Knows

Effective Altruism Talk

Jobs @ The Good Food Institute


Related episodes:

Nathan Runkle

Toni Okamoto


Join the TFF Club on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/tffclub

Connect with TFF:
Website: tfflifestyle.com
Instagram: instagram.com/tfflifestyle
Facebook: facebook.com/tfflifestyle
Thought For Food Club: http://facebook.com/groups/tffclub
Twitter: twitter.com/tfflifestyle
Patreon: patreon.com/thoughtforfood
YouTube: bit.ly/tfftv
Podcast: bit.ly/TFFitunes

Music by: David Cutter Music – http://www.davidcuttermusic.com

 

 

Nathan Runkle on Mercy For Animals, The Future of Food, and Finding Your Voice



Listen on Google Play MusicWhile the majority of discussion at Thought For Food is rooted in our strengths in nutrition science and adventurous, healthy lifestyles, there is something much greater at stake than increasing our performance as athletes. The reason that both of us live a completely plant-based, vegan lifestyle is due to the fact that 60 billion animals are unnecessarily slaughtered for human consumption every year. The conditions of factory farms are absolutely and utterly abominable. Once the two of us became aware of the realities of industrialized animal agriculture and the toll it takes on both the conscious, innocent beings that are a product of the system and the planet at large, we simply couldn’t support it any longer.

This week’s guest is a visionary in leading the charge towards changing this. Nathan Runkle is the founder and executive director of Mercy For Animals, an international animal rights organization that has over 120 employees and has been integral in changing policies, hearts, and minds towards making the world a more compassionate place for animals. He started the organization at 15 with zero resources and no real strategy – except one mission to save animals. Nathan just released a new book, titled Mercy For Animals, which chronicles his journey of starting MFA, stories of heroic undercover investigations and open rescues, the future of food, and more. It’s a fantastic look into the reasons behind ethical veganism and the plight that farm animals face in today’s food system.

We talk about the moment that catalyzed the birth of Mercy For Animals, the realities of “humane” animal operations, ag-gag laws, the role of clean meat in transforming our food system, and plenty more. It was truly an honor to have Nathan on the podcast, and I found him as articulate as he is compassionate. I’m also incredibly inspired by the work of MFA, and very proud to have contributed through my Vegan Alpletic campaign earlier this summer. Nathan and his team are changing the world, and I hope this conversation inspires you or your friends and family to choose the more compassionate path.

-Jackson


Show Notes

Nathan’s Book: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/book

Mercy For Animals: http://www.mercyforanimals.org

MFA on Social Media: @mercyforanimals (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)

Nathan on Social Media: @nathanrunkle (Instagram)

The Good Food Institute: http://www.gfi.org

Related Episodes: Alastair NorcrossEmily Byrd, Christie Lagally

Circle V: http://circlev.com/

Connect with TFF:
Website: tfflifestyle.com
Instagram: instagram.com/tfflifestyle
Facebook: facebook.com/tfflifestyle
Thought For Food Club: http://facebook.com/groups/tffclub
Twitter: twitter.com/tfflifestyle
Patreon: patreon.com/thoughtforfood
YouTube: bit.ly/tfftv
Podcast: bit.ly/TFFitunes

Music by: David Cutter Music – http://www.davidcuttermusic.com

Photo Credit to Travis Chantar

Eat Plants, Get Stronger?

Written by Jackson Long

 

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the words plant-based, vegan and athlete? You might say: weak, scrawny and deficient. After all, meat is associated with strength, power and muscle. Well, what if I told you that eating nothing but plants, AKA a plant-based diet, can actually make you a stronger, faster, more powerful athlete?

In case you didn’t know, what you eat is quite important to feeling good, preventing chronic disease and as an athlete, it becomes even more essential for proper fueling. Traditionally, the public consensus has been that vegetarian or vegan diets cannot sustain an athlete optimally and that they may cause nutrient deficiencies. But what does the science say and are there any vegan athletes out there thriving?

We’ll start with current plant-based athletes. There’s Scott Jurek, champion ultramarathon runner who broke the speed record of the Appalachian Trail (about 2,200 miles) in 46 days last year. Griff Whalen, wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers, eats nothing but plants and the sole member of Team USA’s powerlifting squad at this year’s Rio Olympics, Kendrick Farris, is a totally plant-based. From endurance athletes to powerlifters, it would appear that athletic greatness is certainly possible on plants, but how does it actually work?

picture1

 

Unfortunately, the data on plant-based diets and athletic performance is somewhat lacking. In fact, the research on basically any kind of diet and athletic performance is lacking. So let’s look at what we do know. A 2006 review of vegetarian diets and athletic performance found that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets can provide sufficient energy and an appropriate range of carbohydrate, fat and protein intakes to support performance and health”1.

The American College of Sports Medicine, perhaps the best source for all things sports science, determined that “well-planned vegetarian diets seem to effectively support parameters that influence athletic performance, although studies on this population are limited”2. At the macro level, there seems to be some evidence that this may work but let’s take a closer look.

Athletes require a few basic things to thrive and perform at their best: proper training, adequate fueling and expedited recovery. Recovery seems to be the golden ticket to optimal performance because it’s where the true “gains” are made. Oxidative stress, muscle damage and impaired immune function are all negative effects of exercise, especially at high intensities and prolonged duration that must be countered by physiologic adaptations to stress and healthy food.

For nutrition, athletes must simultaneously gain energy from macronutrients like carbohydrates (the body’s preferred fuel source) and fat and also procure enough amino acids to repair tissue. Micronutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytonutrients) are essential for reducing oxidative stress/inflammation and soreness and keeping the immune system functioning at baseline during intense training periods.

picture1

 

Sufficient caloric intake for plant-based athletes is essential and carbohydrates are the most efficient source of fuel for skeletal muscles and the brain.  Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose which is used for immediate metabolic needs and also stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. The most plentiful sources of this macronutrient are starches (potatoes, corn, grains, legumes, etc) and fruits.

Traditionally, protein has been thought to be the limiting factor for vegetarian athletes, making it difficult to excel in sports at a high level. Data shows that the protein intake required for proper recovery and muscle synthesis for athletes is between 1.2-2.0 g/kg/day2, which is easily achieved from plant based sources. And no, you don’t need to combine proteins to get all the amino acids3. Plant sources of protein include beans (41g/cup), tofu (20g/cup), and nuts (27g/cup). If caloric needs are met from whole food plant sources, protein needs are met.

picture1

 

Micronutrients, as discussed earlier, are a critical component of successful athletics on a plant-based diet and may provide an advantage over omnivorous diets since athletes require more antioxidant load to offset the oxidative damage done by intense training. Eating a diet rich in phytonutrients can also reduce the frequency and duration of upper respiratory tract infections and boost immune activity4. There are even special compounds called nitrates, which are found in foods like beets and arugula, that dilate blood vessels and deliver more oxygen to working skeletal muscles, thus increasing performance5. Other key nutrients are iron, calcium and vitamin B12. Iron and calcium are found in leafy greens and legumes, B12 should be supplemented to avoid deficiency.

A few nutrients may be of concern for plant-based athletes, and may warrant supplementation. I already mentioned B12, but also zinc, EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are important for athletes of all dietary preferences. They can be tough to get enough of in any diet, so it might be a good idea to supplement in order to ensure you’re covering all the bases.

The body is a machine, and as an athlete you want to make sure that machine is running on all cylinders. That means fueling it with the best possible ingredients. Superior athletic performance requires superior fuel and plant foods can most definitely provide the body with the materials to do amazing things.

 

References:

 

 

  1. Venderley AM, Campbell WW. Vegetarian diets. Sports Medicine. 2006;36(4):293–305. doi:10.2165/00007256-200636040-00002.
  2. Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. Position of the academy of nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American college of sports medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016;116(3):501–528. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.12.006
  3. Novick, J. The Myth of Complementary Protein. Forks Over Knives. 2013. http://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/
  4. Gleeson M, Bishop NC. Modification of immune responses to exercise by carbohydrate, glutamine and anti-oxidant supplements. Immunology and Cell Biology. 2000;78(5):554–561. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1711.2000.00953.x.
  5. Bailey, S, Winyard, P et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology Oct 2009, 107 (4) 1144-1155; DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00722.2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Start Cycling, Plant-Based Kids, and Update on Exercise Addiction | Q&A 004

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Here we are with another Q&A episode! We absolutely love answering your guys’ questions, so keep ’em coming. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions via email and social media. On today’s podcast, we answer questions ranging from how to get started in cycling, to vegan parenting tips, to where we’re at with addressing our exercise addiction. Hope you enjoy the show, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play to get the latest episode first thing Thursday mornings.


Thanks to everyone for the continued support of TFF. We are more motivated than ever and that’s thanks to you guys. It means so so much to us to see your reviews on iTunes, comments on social media, and outpouring support through emails and all of our content. Let us know what YOU want to see from us here, whether it’s podcast ideas, video ideas, or ways we can improve your experience. We are also fully open for business with nutrition consulting, so if you or someone you know could benefit from individualized consulting and help from either Aaron or Jackson (or both!), shoot us an email or check out the store for more information. Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? We’re putting up pretty regular videos and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback over there so go watch some videos! Here’s our latest to get you started 😉

 

We love you guys, thanks for listening! Go eat some plants, and what’s your thought for food?

-Jackson and Aaron


Show Notes

Follow TFF:

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Snapchat: TFFlifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

Interested in coaching from Jackson and Aaron? Send us an email at tfflifestyle@gmail.com or click services on the website to learn more.

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli

Saturated Fat: What You Need To Know

Written by Jackson Long and Aaron Stuber

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Every time you hop on the internet, it seems there is conflicting nutrition advice coming from every direction. Bacon is good for you one day, then it causes cancer the next. One of the best examples in recent years is saturated fat. Time Magazine put butter on their cover recently, insisting that everything we claim to know about saturated fat is wrong.  But what does the science say? What’s the deal with saturated fat?

First off, what is saturated fat? It’s simply a chain of monoglycerides and fatty acids that are “saturated” with hydrogen atoms.  This makes saturated fats solid at room temperature (think bacon grease in a can after you let it cool down).  Most of the saturated fat in the western diet comes from animal products like butter, cheese, milk and meats.

We’ve known for over 50 years that as dietary saturated fat intake rises, so does your cholesterol, especially the bad kind.  In fact, this relationship is so consistent and reproducible that you can accurately predict the total rise in serum cholesterol based on the amount of saturated fat someone consumes using the Hegsted Equation. These results were found through hundreds of metabolic ward studies, where people are locked in a room for weeks with researchers who have total control over their nutritional intake.  That’s as accurate as nutrition studies get.

We also know that high total serum cholesterol is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, our number one killer. Randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of study design, have shown over and over that a reduction in saturated fat intake not only drastically lowers serum cholesterol but that it also reduces the risk of cardiac events like heart attacks. The most prestigious, governing scientific and public health bodies in the world are unanimously in favor of reducing or eliminating dietary saturated fat intake because of its clear role in the development of atherosclerotic disease.  So if there’s such a consensus in the scientific community, why are we still having this debate?

The primary reason is that the meat and dairy industries (and the Atkins Foundation) have done a masterful job of paying scientists (like Ronald M Krauss) to conduct meta analyses of cross-sectional studies which do not have the “power,” in statistical terms, to demonstrate statistically significant correlations between saturated fat intake and heart disease. This happens because cross-sectional studies, as opposed to controlled feeding experiments, are only designed to show a change in cholesterol based on dietary interventions.  Knowing the change in someones cholesterol after altering their diet, without knowing their total cholesterol level, makes it impossible to infer a relationship between that change and disease risk.  There are very clear relationships between total cholesterol levels and the manifestation of coronary artery disease, so much so that we can say with scientific accuracy that people with a total cholesterol under 150 (such as you might find in Sub-Saharan Africa) will be virtually disease free.  We can also predictably reverse coronary disease by getting saturated fat low enough.

There is nothing academically dishonest about doing cross-sectional studies of this kind; they show other relationships that are important.  The problem lies in the funding and publication of reviews that selectively and exclusively use this limited data.  The studies are set up to fail.  This is the sole intention of industry: confuse the public and remove their incentive to change by manufacturing doubt.  That was, after all, the MO of the tobacco industry in decades past.

Articles like the one in TIME and other major media outlets continue to stoke the fire of controversy and create mass appeal for leaders in the high fat/low carb world, who cash in on their contrarian point of view to the detriment of public health.  We might laugh if the stakes weren’t so high. Isn’t it time we looked critically at the evidence and stopped killing ourselves with food?  The beautiful thing about science is that it’s true, whether you believe it or not.

Shaleen Shah on Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary and Compassionate Entreprenurialism

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This week on the show, we’re excited to bring Shaleen Shah to you guys. Shaleen is an entrepreneur and founder of the farm sanctuary Luvin Arms, based here in Boulder, Colorado. Luvin Arms is a pretty new sanctuary, only about a year old, and is pretty small, with a few goats, pigs, chickens, and horses. With his background in computer programming and entrepreneurialism, Shaleen has created a beautiful website and platform focused on creating a community based on education and compassion by connecting with animals. In our conversation, we cover everything from how Luvin Arms started to creating a culture based around compassion and what the plant-based/vegan business world is looking like for the future. If you’re in Boulder or Colorado in general, come celebrate Luvin Arms 1 year anniversary and eat amazing vegan Indian food this weekend (October 9th)! Get tickets here: https://eventgrid.com/Events/23257/luvin-arms-1st-anniversary-dinner-and-dance-celebration. We’re really grateful for Shaleen coming to join us on the podcast, so thank you to him and we hope you enjoy the conversation.


Stay up to date with all things TFF by checking out our social media platforms. You can find us @TFFlifestyle on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Jackson is also posting more regular videos on Thought For Food TV, our YouTube channel, including VLOGS, recipe videos, and much more! Please go subscribe 😉

We’re gearing up for another Q&A episode, so if you have any questions about anything related to the stuff we talk about (or not) send us an email to tfflifestyle@gmail.com so we can answer your question Live on Facebook and on the podcast!

If you want to support TFF for free, please consider writing a review on iTunes to keep us reaching more people, it’s super easy and it makes our day each time we see a new review pop up (we read each and every one). Here’s a link to our iTunes page: bit.ly/TFFitunes.

Finally, we are getting our services more dialed in on our website, including nutrition and lifestyle consulting and grocery store tours. If you or someone you know could benefit from getting some individualized consulting and help with nutrition and lifestyle in order to take your health or exercise to the next level, definitely check us out. We offer a huge amount of value for affordable prices, and can’t wait to start working with you. Click over to our shop to learn more!

Thanks to everyone listening and supporting the show from all over the world, it means so so much to us to read your emails and social media comments, and it keeps the fire burning to produce great content. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Go eat some plants, and what’s your thought for food?

-jackson and aaron


Show Notes

Luvin Arms: www.luvinarms.org

Luvin Arms on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luvinarms/?fref=ts


Follow TFF:

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Snapchat: TFFlifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

Interested in coaching from Jackson and Aaron? Send us an email at tfflifestyle@gmail.com or click services on the website to learn more.

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli

5 Reasons It’s Cool To Eat Nothing But Plants

Written by Jackson Long

 

I’d say a majority of people I know (as well as the general population especially) are still existing under the outdated paradigm that being completely plant-based, i.e. eating nothing but plants, is downright impossible. This kind of lifestyle will make you weak, deficient in x or y nutrient, it’s expensive, complicated, elitist. The only way to be healthy is eat other animals right? I mean, what about protein though?

Whatever the excuse may be, I think it’s important to show just how awesome it is to live this way, and that you won’t end up a frail, weak, and whiny hippie.  

Here are five reasons why it’s cool to eat nothing but plants.  

 

1) You’re making a significant impact on the welfare of animals.

This is probably the most important reason to not eat animals: you’re not contributing to the suffering and death of animals. About 60 billion animals are enslaved and slaughtered every year. It’s simply not right, and if you wouldn’t slit the throat of a pig, why pay someone else to do it?

Due to brilliant marketing campaigns and even anti-investigation laws (Ag-gag) enacted by the meat and dairy industries, people don’t truly know what goes on behind the scenes of their pretty packaged cellophane piece of meat from the store. If you’re truly fine with what happens in the documentary Earthlings, then knock yourself out. But it’s time we wake up and act more in line with our morals, and truly extend compassion to the other inhabitants of our planet, not just our cats and dogs.

 

2) It’s by far the best and easiest thing you can do to decrease your footprint on the environment.

If you care about the environment, or call yourself an environmentalist, it’s incredibly contradictory to eat meat, period. Forget about your hybrid cars, animal agriculture contributes 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, 55% of the USA’s water usage, 91% of Amazon Rainforest destruction, and is the leading cause of species extinction.

One 1/4 lb hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce, the same as showering for 2 months straight. You can produce half the CO2 and 1/18th less land as a meat eater by switching to plants¹. This is a no brainer. Check out the incredibly important documentary Cowspiracy for the true scope of animal agriculture’s impact on the environment.

 

3) It’s also the best and easiest thing to do for your health!

True, long term health starts with what we put in our bodies every day. A plant based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease (our number 1 killer) and type II diabetes as well as drastically reduce your risk of developing cancer, obesity, and many other lifestyle related ailments². Today’s standard medical procedure for dealing with disease and health is a system of addressing symptoms, casually and often carelessly prescribing drugs, and not prevention or treatment of the underlying cause.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather eat bananas and potatoes than have to be on a strict regime of pills for the second half of my life to reduce my risk of heart attack, not to mention all those crazy side effects. The world’s longest living cultures, AKA “The Blue Zones” all have in common a primarily plant-based diet³. Check out NutritionFacts.org for more nutrition info, and the awesome documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix. 

 

4) It rules if you’re an athlete.

Inflammation. Long recovery. Fatigue. Excess body weight. Soreness. Weak immune system. Sound familiar? Plants are naturally rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, are alkaline-forming, and can give you the energy and nutrients required as an athlete. Don’t believe me? Ask Rich Roll, an ultra endurance athlete who completed 5 Ironman distance triathlons in under a week on 5 Hawaiian islands.

Or Kendrick Farris, Team USA’s only male powerlifter at this year’s Rio Olympics, who exists on a completely vegan diet. What about world record holding strongman Patrik Baboumian, or Scott Jurek, one of the world’s most accomplished ultrarunners? These guys and many others eat nothin’ but plants and still crush it. I know I feel pretty damn good eating this way, and have no problem smashing it up the unforgiving CO mountains on my bike or busting out 5 hour rides. If you want your body to perform like a Ferrari, you gotta give it high-octane fuel.

 

5) It’s f*****g delicious.

Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet not only takes care of all the essential nutrients and significantly improves health, it just tastes incredible if you eat real food. I’m amazed every day at how much variety exists in the plant kingdom. I get so much more amped to come home after a bike ride and demolish 2L of fruit and vegetable smoothie or put away a mixing bowl sized curry stew for dinner than I ever did eating stuff on a “normal” diet.

There are only a few common options at the store when it comes to animals: pigs, chickens and their eggs, cows and their milk and turkeys. It’s easy to stereotype vegans that eat nothing but kale and tofu, but eating eggs for breakfast and chicken breast for dinner isn’t exactly exciting. It’s insane how much good food there is that doesn’t require a corpse to make it taste good. Smoothies, rice and beans, burgers, burritos, curries, ice cream, stir fry, the list goes on. Look at the produce section compared to the meat section. I start salivating at the sight of raw nectarines, watermelon, and mangoes. Not so much the raw chunks of cow (but maybe I’m weird).

 

The Take Away

I urge you to try incorporating more plant based whole food meals into your life. It’s time we start thinking about our food choices more seriously and stop listening to what the media or nutritionally uneducated doctors tell us. Think about nutrition and health more “wholistically”, a big picture lifestyle and not just some fad diet. There are more important issues (and fellow animals) than carbs and protein that are directly affected by what we put on our plate 3 times a day. Change is hard, but it is so worth it to get over the learning curve and go all into something you believe in. Do your research, be open minded, and truly think critically when it comes to your health, well being, and the planet as a whole.

 

Sources:

¹ http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

² http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/plant-based-diets/

³ http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/11/398325030/eating-to-break-100-longevity-diet-tips-from-the-blue-zones

 

John Pierre on the Pillars of Health and Movement Over Exercise

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“Think good thoughts, do good deeds”

Sometimes you meet someone whose heart is just massive and you can’t comprehend the amount of service they’ve done for the world. John Pierre, or JP as he’s known, is one of those guys. From animal activism to being Ellen’s personal trainer, geriatric physical therapy to rescuing victims of sex trafficking, building an animal sanctuary from the ground up to teaching women’s self defense classes, JP does it all. In this episode, we dive into JP’s background plus all of this stuff and have a really stimulating conversation that will hopefully leave you with something valuable to bring into your own life. Some of the things you can look forward to in the conversation:

  • JP’s early adoption of a plant-based vegan diet and how that culture has shifted over time
  • Some stories from his work as a celebrity trainer working with people like Ellen Degeneres and Emily Deschanel
  • Why movement is more powerful than exercise
  • Why the three Pillars of Health are so important to living a healthy and happy life
  • How to integrate more functional habits into your life
  • And much more!

JP has become a friend of TFF and like we talk about in the beginning of the episode, was very integral in us starting a project like this. The three of us went on a long hike about a year ago and discussed how we could get more involved in the plant-based nutrition space, and here we are! We also have a really cool project in the works which involved JP and his new animal sanctuary, Living With Harmony, so stay tuned on that!

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably on our new website! Super super stoked about how it turned out and we hope you do too! It’s definitely a work in progress and isn’t finished yet, so we seriously value your feedback and criticisms to how everything is looking, and let us know if something is wrong!

Also let us know what you thought of the intro to today’s podcast. Did you find it too long? What did you think of the gratitude segment? We want to hear what you think and if you liked it. Thanks guys!

One more thing: Massive thank you to everyone who has left us a review on the iTunes store, we read each and every one so it’s greatly appreciated! Really helps us grow. And thank you to everyone who’s shared the podcast and TFF content with your friends and family and on social media, this is how we grow a movement and change paradigms, so it’s awesome to see! Keep doing what you’re doing guys, you are all amazing. Alright, Jackson and Aaron over and out, enjoy the show.

#goeatsomeplants


Show Notes

JP’s stuff:

Website

Living With Harmony 

His books: Pillars of Health and Strong, Savvy, Safe

Connect with JP: foodsforlifejp@yahoo.com

Connect with Thought For Food!

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

Snapchat: TFFlifestyle

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Ask us a question for our next Q&A episode! thoughtforfoodpodcast@gmail.com

Interested in coaching from Jackson and Aaron? Send us an email to: tfflifestyle@gmail.com

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli